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IAUC 6936: THE EDGAR WILSON AWARD

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                                                  Circular No. 6936
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL UNION
Mailstop 18, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
IAUSUBS@CFA.HARVARD.EDU or FAX 617-495-7231 (subscriptions)
BMARSDEN@CFA.HARVARD.EDU or DGREEN@CFA.HARVARD.EDU (science)
URL http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/cbat.html
Phone 617-495-7244/7440/7444 (for emergency use only)


THE EDGAR WILSON AWARD
     This is to announce the establishment of and the criteria for the
Edgar Wilson Award for the discovery of comets.  The Award shall be
allocated annually among the amateur astronomers who, using amateur equipment,
have discovered one or more new comets.  Only comets officially named for
their discoverers shall be included in the annual count.  Since particular
recognition is to be given to the amateurs who discover the most comets,
identical fractions of the total Award funds shall be allocated for each comet
with an eligible discoverer, except that if the same comet is credited to
more than one independent eligible discoverer, each discoverer
shall receive a full fraction.  If the discovery is made as the result of
information produced or prepared by some other person, it shall not
qualify for consideration.  Eligible discoveries may be made by visual,
photographic or electronic means.  The Award shall be administered by the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), as the beneficiary under the
Will of Edgar Wilson of Lexington, KY.  This administration shall specifically
be through the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Central Bureau for
Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT), which, with the advice of the Small Bodies
Names Committee (SBNC) of IAU Division III, has the responsibility for naming
comets.  It is anticipated that the funds available for the first annual Award
shall be approximately US$20 000 (twenty thousand dollars).  For the purpose of
this Award, a year shall be the period of twelve months beginning and ending on
June 11.0 UT.  The first Award shall be for the year ending on 1999 June 11.0.
The Award shall be announced and made during the month of July following the
end of each period.  To be eligible for the Award an individual must demonstrate
(a) that he or she is acting in an amateur capacity, at least for the
purpose of discovering the comet, and (b) that only amateur, privately-owned
equipment was used for the discovery.  In years when there are no eligible
comet discoverers, the Award shall be made instead to the amateur astronomer(s)
judged by the CBAT to have made the greatest contribution toward promoting
an interest in the study of comets.  SAO employees associated with the CBAT,
SBNC members, as well as members of their immediate families, are not eligible
for the Award.  The Edgar Wilson Award is international in scope, and
nationals of no country are excluded from consideration.  An observer who
suspects he or she has discovered a comet shall ensure that his or her
discovery report reaches the CBAT according to the usual procedures.  The CBAT
shall maintain the necessary records and may contact the discoverers for
eligibility documentation.  The decision of SAO (via the CBAT) is final.

                      (C) Copyright 1998 CBAT
1998 June 11                   (6936)              Brian G. Marsden

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